Clark County at Work: Silke Communications

By Mary Ricks, Columbian News Assistant



o Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks:; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Business name: Silke Communications.

Vancouver manager: Dana Sadlowski.

Account representative: Michael Sadlowski.

Address: 14407 N.E. 13th Ave., Vancouver. (Company headquarters are in Eugene, Ore.)

o Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks:; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

What the business does: Silke Communications provides radio communications to public and private entities and has since 1964. Michael Sadlowski, account representative, said Silke customers range from large public fleets to small private businesses in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. The company’s industries of expertise include public safety and fire, concrete and aggregates, student transportation, school districts, mass transportation, hospitality, logging, towing and ski resorts.

Steps you are taking to build the business: Michael Sadlowski said building the business includes standard business activities such as websites, word of mouth, target advertising and participating in professional organizations. The company belongs to many public and private associations including others specific to the industry. And Silke has grown through acquisition too. After purchasing County Communications in Washougal in 2011, Silke’s involvement with local school districts and businesses really became more engaged.

Greatest challenge: Planning and resources are the biggest challenge, Michael Sadlowski said. Many projects are complex and long term and require project management and attention to detail. He said all their customers rely on their communications and many times it truly is a matter of life or death and Silke has to respond quickly and efficiently. The company has to be resilient, flexible and precise.

What’s ahead: The continued expansion of Silke’s multi-tower digital system called Fleetnet. This system will benefit many customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington, including school districts that want to begin planning for a managed unified communication system.

Many schools clean, check, and replace much of their equipment during the summer and Silke is busy checking radios, batteries and programs to make sure that when the school year starts they are ready to go.

Silke is also planning on purchasing a business in the Salem, Ore. market in the near future to better service current and new customers in south Portland and Salem.

Company history:
Silke Communications’ roots reach back to the 1960s. Jim Silke Sr. and Carol Silke opened the first Silke office and shop in the late 1960s in Eugene. James Silke Jr. became president in 2008 and has led the expansion and growth, extending to Southern Oregon and up to Clark and Lewis counties in Washington. Dana Sadlowski, manager of the Vancouver office, has worked in the communications field for 17 years and joined Silke three years ago. Her husband, Michael Sadlowski, an account representative, joined Silke a year ago.

Year established in Clark County: Silke Communications has had representation in the area since the early ’90s and opened a storefront in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver in 2011.

Clark County employees: Five.

Telephone: 360-835-3772.

Fax: 541-687-1613.



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